A Library You Can Read More Into Than What’s on the Page

popup library

You’ve likely seen one before in your neighborhood: it’s a little box that houses books and is called a popup library. I love popup community libraries because they provide books for free for anybody who wants one, they provide a second or third or fourth home to books that have already been read, and they create a cozy community tie.

These little community libraries are typically wooden structures that look almost like an oversized mailbox and they are situated near sidewalks in cities. But a new design that has popped up (no pun intended) in Newmarket, Canada by design firm Atelier Kastelic Buffey has crushed the popup library norm. It’s called the Story Pod and it is a 64-square-foot lending library that resides smack dab in the busy city center of this Toronto suburb.

During the daytime hours the compact construction opens up its doors – which pivot open kind of like the pages of a book – to offer its many books and three spacious benches to the public. Anyone can drop by to exchange or take a book and, if they are dying to dig in, they can even take a seat and get started on the journey their book takes them right away. It’s essentially a small community-gathering place located somewhere that garners a lot of traffic but probably doesn’t create many interactions unless you happen to cross paths with somebody you know. (more…)


One of the pivotal concepts of Naked Civics is civic design, under which falls a slew of concepts. One such concept, community building, is of particular interest to me today.

My friend Greg Fuson wrote a piece in The Vine last month about rules and principles, and in the piece he posed a great question about homeowner associations. (more…)


According to this article in The Atlantic, crime in America’s urban areas has dropped to the lowest it’s been in 40 years. My initial thought is that in an economy that’s hurting as much as ours, crime and violence would skyrocket. So why is it that now, of all times, crime rate is so low? I personally think it’s the culmination of proactive, forward thinkers and the efforts of urban communities. (more…)


Back when the American economy was thriving, it used to be difficult to sell a new home if it wasn’t equipped with the newest and greatest amenities, like a gym or a hair salon.  The value of a home is based on a slew of factors, including greenery, safe streets, nearby public transportation, and bike trails, but in suburbia, additional amenities are imperative. (more…)